The coronavirus has changed our day-to-day work, regardless of whether you wear masks at work or distance yourself socially from colleagues.
Vaccination could be the next big change.
In view of the coronavirus surge fueled by the Delta variant, private companies and public institutions are increasingly implementing vaccine requirements for their employees. National employers, including Tyson Foods, United Airlines, and the U.S. military, recently announced that employees should be vaccinated.
But why are they allowed to have vaccination orders? And can more Indiana employers do the same?
Here’s what you need to know.
Can your employer require you to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Yes – with a few exceptions. Federal law does not prevent an employer from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees who physically come to the workplace, as per U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission (EEOC) guidelines.
Employers can prescribe a vaccine if it is “professional” and “compatible with business needs”. sincere religious belief. “These rights are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The accommodations could include wearing a face mask, regular COVID-19 testing, or teleworking, according to the EEOC. An employer may not disclose that an employee is receiving placement or retaliate against an employee who requests placement under the ADA.
These guidelines are not limited to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is really what the ADA has been calling for for years,” said Julie Manning Magid, professor of business law at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “(Employers can) see if unvaccinated employees are at risk for safety, and that depends on whether they are around and interacting with people.”
The EEOC also notes that federal laws restrict when employers can request medical examinations or perform disability exams – but vaccination is “not a ‘medical examination’ as it does not seek information about the physical or mental health of the worker”.
Are there any vaccination laws in the state of Indiana?
Although state guidelines allow employers to require vaccines, several states have introduced or implemented legislation to restrict it, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In Indiana, all employers except state and local governments can mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees.
More:Indiana lawmakers are bringing the language that prohibits “vaccine passports” into law
Indiana’s House Bill 1405, signed in April, prohibits state or local entities from requesting COVID-19 “vaccination records”. A local unit can be a city or county government, a public library, a municipal company, a school company, or a charter school. These facilities can still keep medical records of vaccination status, and the passport restriction does not apply to private companies.
Can your employer ask for proof of vaccination?
Yes. Federal laws do not prevent employers from requiring their employees to present vaccination documents or other vaccination certificates, the EEOC says. However, this information must be treated confidentially and separately from the employee’s personnel file.
Could you be discharged for not getting vaccinated?
“That depends on the circumstances and what accommodations the (employer) offers,” says Manning Magid. Companies can set company policies, including vaccine requirements, as long as they don’t violate state discrimination or workplace laws.
And normally, an employee fired for failing to follow a company’s vaccination requirements would not become unemployed, legal experts told USA Today.
Fact check:Workers made redundant for rejecting a vaccine are unlikely to be eligible for unemployment
What about the fact that the vaccines are used in an emergency?
The Justice Department issued a statement in July stating that the law does not prohibit public or private entities from issuing vaccine requirements for vaccines that are subject to emergency approval.
More:Efforts to block IU’s COVID-19 vaccine request are turning to the US Supreme Court
Which Employers In Indiana Need COVID-19 Vaccines?
Some major employers who have announced that they will require all or most of their employees to be included are:
- Indiana University requires all of its staff, as well as students, to be vaccinated by mid-August. IUPUI and other campuses are also included in this mandate.
- Notre Dame and Butler Universities require that the faculty be vaccinated in addition to the students.
- IU Health, one of the largest employers in the state, requires all employees to be vaccinated by September 1st.
- The City of Carmel is requiring new employees to get vaccinated, despite requiring “oral confirmation” instead of documentation due to state law passed in April.
- Eli Lilly & Co. requested vaccinations for employees who returned to the office in person.
- Anthem requires employees who work personally to get vaccinated.
- The Ascension health system requires all workers to be vaccinated by November 12th, “whether or not they provide direct patient care and whether they work in our care facilities or remotely.”
Why Some Indiana Employers Say They Need Vaccines:
Indiana University: “This requirement is part of the IU’s continued successful response to and management of the COVID-19 pandemic at its sites and will allow the university to lift most of the restrictions on masking and physical distancing.”
Indiana University Health: “Vaccinating team members is a safe and effective way to protect patients and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in facilities and in the community,” IU health officials told IndyStar earlier in a statement emailed to them. “Compulsory vaccination for health care workers is not new or unprecedented.”
Eli Lilly & Co .:“Lilly doesn’t take these steps casually. As during the pandemic, we worked closely with the Indiana State Department of Health and our local Department of Health to develop our plan. We took a data-based approach and will continue. “If external factors change, we will adapt.”
The Ascension Health System: “This decision is rooted in our mission to lead with quality and safety. As a health care provider and as a Catholic ministry, ensuring a culture of safety for our employees, patients and communities is the foundation of our work.”
Contact Rashika Jaipuriar at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @rashikajpr.